Category Archives: Wears Valley

Use our Video Vacation Guide to help you enjoy Wears Valley on your Smoky Mountain Vacation.

Tennessee Tax Free Holiday 2021

It’s that time again for our favorite late Summer, just-before-school-starts holiday and this year is going to be different than the years before it in the state of TN.

Tax Free Holiday is not a single weekend affair for 2021. This year there are three different categories of tax-free items; one of which has already started and continues on until… June 2022?? Only in Tennessee!

Let’s take a look:

Event 1: Clothes, School Supplies and Computers

Tennessee’s traditional sales tax holiday on clothing, school supplies and computers begins at 12:01 a.m. on Friday, July 30, 2021, and ends at 11:59 p.m. on Sunday, August 1, 2021.

During this time clothing, school supplies and computers may be purchased tax-free. Certain restrictions apply. Items sold online are also eligible. Items must be purchase for personal use, not for business or trade.

Exempt:
* General apparel that costs $100 or less per item, such as shirts, pants, socks, shoes, dresses, etc.

* School and art supplies with a purchase price of $100 or less per item, such as binders, backpacks, crayons, paper, pens, pencils, and rulers, and art supplies such as glazes, clay, paints, drawing pads, and artist paintbrushes.

* Computers for personal use with a purchase price of $1,500 or less.

* Laptop computers, if priced at $1,500 or less, also qualify as well as tablet computers.

Not exempt:
* Apparel items priced at more than $100.

* Items sold together, such as shoes, cannot be split up to stay beneath the $100 maximum.

* Items such as jewelry, handbags, or sports and recreational equipment.

* School and art supplies individually priced at more than $100.

* Items that are normally sold together cannot be split up to stay beneath the $100 maximum.

* Storage media, like flash drives and compact discs.

* Individually purchased software.

* Printer supplies.

* Household appliances.

Event 2: Food, Ingredients and Prepared Food

During the period beginning at 12:01 am on Friday, July 30, 2021 and ending Thursday, August 5, 2021 at 11:59 pm, food, food ingredients, and prepared foods are exempt from sales tax. This includes qualified sales of prepared food by restaurants, food trucks, caterers, and grocery stores.

Sales of alcoholic beverages are not included in items exempt during this period.

Food and food ingredients are defined as liquid, concentrated, solid, frozen, dried, or dehydrated substances that are sold to be ingested or chewed by humans and are consumed for their taste or nutritional value. Food and food ingredients do not include alcoholic beverages, tobacco, candy, dietary supplements.

Prepared Food – A food item qualifies as prepared food if it:

* Is sold in a heated state or heated by the seller,
* Contains two or more food ingredients mixed together by the seller for sale as a single item; or
* Is sold with eating utensils, such as plates, knives, forks, spoons, glasses, cups, napkins, or straws provided by the vendor.

Prepared food does not include food that is only cut, repackaged, or pasteurized by the seller, and eggs, fish, meat, poultry, and foods containing these raw animal foods requiring cooking by the consumer as recommended by the Food and Drug Administration to prevent food borne illnesses.

Event 3: Gun Safes and Safety Devices

Gun safes and safety devices sold at retail are exempt from sales and use tax during the holiday period beginning at 12:01 am on July 1, 2021 and ending at 11:59 pm on June 30, 2022.

A “gun safe” is defined as:

* A locking container or other enclosure equipped with a padlock, key lock, combination lock, or other locking device that is designed and intended for the secure storage of one or more firearms.

A “gun safety device” is defined as:

* Any integral device to be equipped or installed on a firearm that permits the user to program the firearm to operate only for specified persons designated by the user through computerized locking devices or other means integral to and permanently part of the firearm.

See https://www.tn.gov/revenue/taxes/sales-and-use-tax/sales-tax-holiday.html for full information.

Top 8 Things to Do This Summer in Gatlinburg

The main tourism website for the city of Gatlinburg published this blog post recently and we thought there was enough good information on it that we would like to share it on this blog as well.

From www.gatlinburg.com:

Top 8 Things to Do This Summer in Gatlinburg

“1. Outdoor adventures
No summer vacation is complete without escaping to the mountains for an adventure. Great Smoky Mountains National Park holds the record for being America’s most visited national park – and for good reason. Hit any of the park’s 900+ miles of hiking trails and discover historical settlements, cascading waterfalls, and scenic views along its many paths. Along with its numerous trails, there is no shortage of ways to get out and experience the park’s unique wilderness, from guided nature hikes to scenic drives, to river rafting and horseback riding. Motor routes like the Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail and the Cade’s Cove loop road also let you sightsee at a Sunday-drive pace and offer plenty of picnic areas to stop and enjoy lunch along the way.

2. Panoramic views
For a truly magnificent photo op, try viewing the Smokies from above. You can enjoy panoramic views of the mountains on the Gatlinburg Sky Lift, Space Needle, Aerial Tramway, or from the comfort of an Anakeesta Chondola. You can also hop in the car and take a scenic drive up to the Gatlinburg Bypass for an amazing view of the city surrounded by the Smoky Mountains.

3. Great Smoky Arts and Crafts Loop
Gatlinburg’s famous Great Smoky Arts and Crafts Community – which started from a local tradition for making craftsmen goods – has since grown to be the largest group of independent artisans in North America. Find quality creations inside every storefront along with the 8-mile Arts and Crafts Loop that’s home to weavers, potters, painters, jewelers, candlemakers, and many other artists.

4. Family Fun
With activities and excitement lining both sides of downtown, Gatlinburg is a great place for family attractions. Kids of all ages can play in a magical treehouse village or race together on duel ziplines when families discover Gatlinburg’s newest theme park, Anakeesta. For any family looking for a variety of things to do, there’s just nothing like Ober Gatlinburg. With rides like the Alpine Slide and Ski Mountain Coaster, year-round ice skating and a special area for the littlest ones, this amusement park is a favorite family destination. Families that enjoy a challenge can work together in a 60-minute race against the clock to break out from Gatlin’s Escape Games, one of the most adrenaline-pumping attractions in Gatlinburg. There are countless other family activities in town, from the wonderful Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies to museums and mirror mazes.

5. Fourth of July
There’s no better place to celebrate July 4th than Gatlinburg, because we start earlier than anybody else. Gatlinburg’s 46th annual 4th of July Midnight Parade begins at 12:01 a.m. on July 4 and is the first Independence Day celebration in the nation. At 1 p.m. on July 4th, the action moves to the Little Pigeon with the River Raft Regatta. You can participate or cheer on your favorite floatable in this fun and competitive Independence Day tradition. The big finale comes after dark when a spectacular firework show from The Space Needle lights up downtown at 11 p.m.

6. Romance
Are you getting married this summer? Gatlinburg is one of the most romantic places in the world, not only for couples tying the knot and newlyweds honeymooning but for lovers who want to renew their relationships.

7. Gatlinburg Farmers Market
Every year from May to October, our local farmers, artisans and food producers gather on Saturday mornings from 8:30 to 11:30 next to the Post Office on East Parkway. The Gatlinburg Farmers Market features fresh, local produce, eggs, homemade baked goods and items like jams, honey and natural health products.

8. Summer music
When the summer sun goes down, Gatlinburg’s downtown Parkway comes alive with the sounds of Smoky Mountain Tunes & Tales! Visitors can stroll Gatlinburg’s famous Parkway sidewalks and easily catch one of Tunes & Tales’ many costumed performers sharing the music and tales that have existed in the Smoky Mountains as far back as the 1800s. Musical entertainment can be found at the Ole Smoky “Holler” or at Ole Red Gatlinburg on a daily basis. We’re also celebrating Appalachian music at the Smoky Mountains Songwriters Festival on August 19-22 at venues throughout Gatlinburg.”

 

See this full article at https://www.gatlinburg.com/blog/post/the-top-8-things-to-do-this-summer-in-gatlinburg/.

Smoky Mountain 4th of July 2021 – Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg

As the title states, in this article, the cities of Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg announce their plans for their respective Smoky Mountain 4th of July 2021 celebrations. These reposted articles come from www.mypigeonforge.com and www.gatlinburg.com.

Pigeon Forge Patriot Festival
July 3rd

“Patriot Festival is back in 2021 headlined by country superstar Clint Black! This event is proudly presented by 107.7 WIVK and the City of Pigeon Forge.

Event Cost: FREE

4pm: Food Vendors Open

5:30pm – 8pm: Entertainment featuring Brad Hudson Band & Rumours (Fleetwood Mac Tribute Band)

8pm: Clint Black

With a career spanning three decades and notching 22 No. 1 hits, Clint Black lays claim to one of the most storied careers in modern music. The singer/songwriter’s groundbreaking debut album, Killin’ Time, produced the hit singles “A Better Man,” “Nobody’s Home,” “Walkin’ Away” and the title track, cementing his status as one of country’s music’s most successful traditionalists. He recently released the self-produced album Out of Sane.
Fireworks Celebration

Pigeon Forge will mark Independence Day with the city’s annual fireworks display at 9:45 p.m. on Saturday, July 3. The 20-minute fireworks display will be simulcast by WIVK-FM 107.7 FM radio station in Knoxville.”

 

Gatlinburg First Independence Day Parade in the Nation
July 3rd

“The nation’s “first” celebration and Gatlinburg’s award-winning Fourth of July Midnight Parade, will step off at 12:01 a.m. on Sunday, July 4, honoring First Responders, U.S. Veterans, military heroes, and frontline healthcare workers. Parade-goers can enjoy a celebration of red, white, and blue as patriotically decorated and lighted floats line downtown streets and the 100th Army Band from Fort Knox, Kentucky commemorates the holiday with a musical performance.

American Idol contestant, EmiSunshine will lead the festivities as the official Grand Marshal of Gatlinburg’s annual parade. An East Tennessee native, EmiSunshine’s unique musical talent has been featured everywhere from the Grand Ole Opry, a GRAMMY award-winning film, to several appearances on national television shows including NBC’s “The Today Show”. While acclaimed on the national stage, the artist’s beginnings started in the heart of Gatlinburg as a regular cast member of Smoky Mountain Tunes and Tales and as a crowd favorite singer and songwriter at the Smoky Mountains Songwriters Festival.”

 

Gatlinburg’s Fireworks Finale
July 4th

“Join the celebration in downtown Gatlinburg to mark our nation’s “Independence Day” with a spectacular 20-minute firework show starting at 10:00 p.m. from the Gatlinburg Space Needle. Spectators can view the fireworks from any vantage point in Gatlinburg. This event is designated as a Top 20 event by the Southeast Tourism Society.”

 

See these original articles at:
https://www.mypigeonforge.com/event/patriot-festival
https://www.gatlinburg.com/event/first-independence-day-parade-in-the-nation/35/
https://www.gatlinburg.com/event/gatlinburgs-fireworks-finale/20/

Dolly Parton’s Tribute to the State of Tennessee

As reported by WATE.com:

“As part of the 225th celebration of statehood, the county music icon lent her voice and her 1973 single “My Tennessee Mountain Home” to a video released Tuesday called “Home.”

“I am Tennessee proud,” Parton said. “I’m proud of our wonderful state, proud to be a born and raised Tennessee girl, and I’m proud to be a part of all that we represent.’

The video features all corners of the state from Mountain City to Memphis. Gov. Bill Lee is seen pulling a music record off a shelf as the video takes a tour of main streets, landmarks and natural scenery highlighting Tennessee’s culture and beauty.

“Dolly is a Tennessee treasure, and I’m thankful she’s joined us to commemorate 225 years of statehood,” Lee said. “I invite Tennesseans to celebrate at events throughout the year … to share the stories of the people, places and moments that have shaped Tennessee.”

View this article in full at https://www.wate.com/news/watch-dolly-parton-celebrates-225-years-of-statehood-with-my-tennessee-mountain-home-video/.

Wedding Venue Spotlight: Honeysuckle Hills

Honeysuckle Hills is a premium, secluded and inclusive wedding venue located in the foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains in Pigeon Forge, TN, with a number of gorgeous places onsite that all can make a gorgeous setting for a wedding or elopment reception. Honeysuckle Hills is a barn wedding venue in the TN Smoky Mountains with spacious outdoor gardens, horses, country-chic décor and a family staff dedicated to pleasing its couples. Owner and operator Regina makes your wedding experience more personal, planning with you from start to finish.

All-inclusive wedding packages are our specialty for both elopements and weddings with receptions.

See our wedding packages and more information on Honeysuckle Hills at https://honeysucklehills.com/.

Shinerunners UTV Rentals | Smoky Mountain UTV Rentals

Rent a UTV and discover the Smokies in a brand new way! What could be more fun than exploring the beautiful East Tennessee region with one of our Smoky Mountain UTV Rentals? One of the biggest things on vacation is trying to get the most bang for your buck. Did you know that we beat ALL competition in the area in prices AND rental hours? This means less money spent and more time enjoying the open road and family. Get the most out of your money with one of our rentals.

We offer brand new UTV’s, competitive pricing, multiple rental plans and excellent customer service. Whether you’re an avid hiker or just looking to explore the gorgeous scenery that the Great Smoky Mountains National Park has to offer, we have a trail for you!

Shinerunner’s UTV Rentals located in the heart of Pigeon Forge, TN, and Serves the Smoky Mountains, Gatlinburg, Pigeon Forge, Sevierville, Wears Valley and Douglas Lake communities of the region. Visit us at https://shinerunnersutvrentals.com/.

New Species Of Bee Discovered In The National Park

As the title indicates, the Smokies are all “a’buzz” with a new bee species that has just been discovered in our park!

From WBIR’s news segment on it:

“It sure doesn’t have a catchy name, but the Epeolus inornatus is a big catch for Dr. Will Kuhn; the Director of Science and Research at Discover Life in America.

“It’s always really fun to find a new record and to take up our numbers of new records and new species for the park,” Kuhn said.” – WBIR

See the full article at https://www.wbir.com/article/news/local/scientists-discover-new-bee-species-in-great-smoky-mountains-national-park/51-fb5e5a6c-9c3a-44fa-8dd2-3b1cc4834d16.

Upcoming Events in Townsend at GM Heritage Center

See what’s going on at the Great Smoky Mountain Visitor Center in Townsend throughout this month and next:

Now – August 16th
* Reba Rhyne and Robin Greenlee
Book signing, coasters and cutting boards.

August 24 – August 29
* Maxine Falls
Art and jewelry.

August 28, 2020
* Elizabeth Rose and Sam Venable
Tall Tales of Tennessee: An Evening of Storytelling

September 1, 2020
* Jeff Ross
“Informal and informative social coffee-talk on a variety of subjects of interest to those living in the area.”

September 04 – September 06
* Ken Justice
Woodcrafts by Ken Justice

September 07 – September 12
* Bonnie Mueller & Doug Bartlett
Abstract acrylic paintings, gourds, polymer clay jewelry and needle felting, wooden flags.

See these events and more information on the GSM Heritage Center at https://www.gsmheritagecenter.org/.

 

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All Pro Group’s Corporate Division

Welcome to All Pro Group! Since 1995, Jeff Schoenfield has worked in Sevier County, Tennessee real estate and has been committed to providing the most professional real estate service possible. From that time to today, All Pro Group has expanded its operations to include additional services and business branches that are designed to meet the same standard of quality and excellence that Jeff and his team of managers have been successful at exceeding since 1995.

All Pro Group includes:
* All Pro Realtors
* All Pro Property Management Services
* Wall Street Storage
* All Pro Storage

Dedicated to superb and professional service regardless of the business division, All Pro Group is proud to serve East Tennessee from our office in Sevierville, TN.

See more on All Pro Group’s Corporate Divisions at https://allprogroup.us/.

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Important Smoky Mountain Travel News – May 9th

As the state of Tennessee is beginning its first stages of re-opening tourism and general business, much is going in during this initial transition: some places have opened, some places are beginning to re-open and some places will not be opening for a bit. Additionally, some events have been rescheduled and some have been cancelled for this year entirely.

Due to the nature of slowly transitioning out of social distancing, information on what and when for re-opening is highly de-centralized at the moment, so we would like to help pass on current news for openings and other pertinent travel information coming up this month and further for travel preparation and consideration.

* Gatlinburg 4th of July Parade Has Been Cancelled *
From WBIR.com:

“Gatlinburg officials said the city’s Fourth of July parade is canceled for a second year in a row due to public health concerns. The city will plan new patriotic events for families who want to celebrate while following social distancing guidelines, officials said in a Tuesday press release.”

See full article by clicking here.

 

* Gatlinburg Release on Re-openings *
From gatlinburgtn.gov, dated April 29th, 2020:

“Safety precautions and sanitization procedures will be handled at all City facilities to help keep the community, residents, employees and visitors safe. All City facilities will be heavily sanitized during the phased reopening.

The City has purchased foggers to help with sanitizing and disinfecting facilities and will regularly clean facilities to help reduce the risk of spreading COVID-19. Hand sanitizing stations will be placed in public lobby areas in City facilities as well.”

The City has purchased foggers to help with sanitizing and disinfecting facilities and will regularly clean facilities to help reduce the risk of spreading COVID-19. Hand sanitizing stations will be placed in public lobby areas in City facilities as well.

Plans are also in place to install signage throughout the City in visible areas outlining CDC practices on preventing the spread of COVID-19.

On Friday, May 1, the McMahan/Parkway parking garage in downtown Gatlinburg will reopen, as will the public restrooms at the garage. The public restrooms located at the Gatlinburg Convention Center will also reopen.

Also on Friday, May 1, the Gatlinburg Golf Course clubhouse will reopen. The course has remained open for play during the COVID-19 pandemic.

On Monday, May 4, the administrative offices located at Gatlinburg City Hall, including the City’s Finance Department, Building and Planning Department, Police Department and Fire Department, will reopen to the public. The administrative offices located at the Schilling Center, will also reopen on this date.

On Monday, May 18, all Gatlinburg City Parks – Mynatt Park, Mills Park and Herbert Holt Park – will open for public use. Upon initial opening, playgrounds and pavilions will remain closed at each park.

The Gatlinburg Community Center will also reopen to the public on May 18, with reduced operating hours and restrictions on the amount of patrons allowed in areas of the building. The Tone Zone portion of the building will be the only space open to the public, in accordance with the April 28 release of the Tennessee Pledge pertaining to gyms. Operating hours will be 6 a.m. until 8 p.m. Monday through Friday.

The Anna Porter Public Library plans to reopen its facility in phases on Monday, May 18. The library will limit the number of patrons to 10 at a time through the end of May, and hold temporary operating hours of 10 a.m until 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. Staff will wear masks and gloves when interacting with the public and the public will be allowed to access computers for 30 minutes at a time, with social distancing practices applied. Desks will be sanitized after each use.

Rocky Top Sports World is actively following the guidelines and directions presented from the Governor’s office and CDC while coordinating with County and City offices. Because of the continued fluidity of the COVID19 situation, no opening date has been determined. Rocky Top Sports World is working diligently on events currently scheduled and continues to focus on venue cleanliness, safety and health.

The municipal parking garage located at Ripley’s Aquarium will be reopened at the same time as the Aquarium opens to the public. A resumption of Gatlinburg Trolley Services will be announced at a later date.”

* Pigeon Forge Local Business Opening Status *
The Mypigeonforge.com site hosts scheduled information in separate, downloadable files.

For Pigeon Forge attractions, click here:
For Pigeon Forge restaurants, click here:
For Pigeon Forge retail, click here:
For Pigeon Forge grocery store information, click here:

More information on Pigeon Forge’s re-openings, updated frequently, can be found at https://www.mypigeonforge.com/planning/travel-resources#business-closed.

 

* Sevierville Partial Re-opening of Parks and Recreations *
From https://www.seviervilletn.org:

“Sevierville city parks will reopen on May 18, 2020 with certain restrictions, including:

* All playgrounds, basketball courts, baseball/softball fields, soccer fields, and swimming pools remain closed indefinitely;

* Walking trails and tennis courts are open, social distancing of at least six feet will be enforced;

* Picnic shelters will be open, but groups must be less than ten persons;

* The PetSafe Dog Park is open, but each area (small dog and large dog) will be limited to less than ten persons and each person is limited to 45 minutes per visit; and

* Cemetery Park will be limited to less than ten people.

Some areas of the Sevierville Community Center will reopen on May 18, 2020 with certain restrictions. The gymnasium, swimming pool, locker rooms, and racquetball courts remain closed indefinitely. All children’s programs are suspended indefinitely.

The Bowling Center will be open 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Monday-Friday.”

See more details by clicking here.

 

As more significant information becomes available, we will post new information on our blog here. Thank you and stay safe!